Udta Punjab row: Stop being a grandmother, Bombay HC tells censor

Bombay HC reprimanded the censor board; paved way for a June 17 release for the movie

“Creative freedom should not be curbed unnecessarily and nobody can dictate a filmmaker about the content of his/her film,” said Justice SC Dharmadhikari while shooting down the request placed by the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to snip out 13 scenes from Udta Punjab.

Shahid Kapoor in Udta Punjab
Shahid Kapoor in Udta Punjab

The Bombay High Court yesterday asked the CBFC to clear the film with just one cut, make changes in the disclaimer and stamp it as an adult film, all within 48 hours.

The scene where the protagonist Tommy Singh (Shahid Kapoor) urinates at the crowd while performing needs to be deleted, just. This was already suggested by the CBFC that the makers of the film eventually agreed to do.

Apart from this, the producers will have to make changes in the disclaimer and add the part that talks about the drug menace and how the government is making efforts to curb it.

Coming down heavily on the Censor Board, the bench comprising Justice Dharmadhikari and Justice Dr Shalini Phansalkar Joshi said that the film is in no way defaming the state and is not hurting the sovereignty or integrity of India.

“The CBFC should stop acting as a grandmother and should not waste the precious time of the court in such matters,” said Justice Dharmadhikari, adding that the film is in no way glorifying drug abuse and that it is based on fictional characters, which have no real life connection.

Senior counsel Ravi Kadam, appearing on behalf of one of the producers Phantom Films (Anurag Kashyap’s production house), argued that the signboard is necessary to stay in the film since the film is based in the state. The CBFC had earlier said that names of places in Punjab should be deleted from the movie, as they will end up hurting the sovereignty of the country.

The film directed by Abhishek Chaubey reportedly uses a lot of cuss words, which the Censor Board had asked the makers of the film to delete.

“Adults would not be tempted to use such cuss words simply because they have heard it in the movie. They are the biggest censor boards and if they feel the movie is not worth a watch, they will simply leave the theatres,” said Justice Dharmadhikari.

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